GAC Pays Tribute to a
Founding Member

Guelph Arts Council joins many Guelphites in expressing great sadness at learning of the death of long-time friend and supporter, Frank Vigor. He died on July 28, 2000, after a battle with cancer.
For Guelph Arts Council,

we have lost the one individual who was involved in our organization’s founding and who also continued to participate actively in Council endeavours almost right up to the day of his death.

When Guelph Arts Council was created by the City back in 1975, Frank was working as the City’s recreation supervisor. In this capacity, he was appointed a City representative to the first Arts Council Board of Directors ,a role he played until 1982 when he was elected as a community Board member. During his years on the Board, Frank was involved in almost every aspect of the Council — ranging from several visual arts projects to the launch of a local writers’ group; from support for many heritage projects to involvement in a wide range of performing arts activities; and from general Board involvement to specific Executive service, including serving as the Council’s President during 1988-89.

Even after Frank completed his final year on the Board in the spring of 1990, he continued to support and participate in Council activities. For example, he helped with distribution of Arts in Guelph to various community drop-off points, and
he continued to sell Fête Romantique tickets every year, up to and including this past year. He even had the distinction of selling the Grand-Prize Fête ticket one year! And he worked diligently on the River Run Centre capital fundraising campaign.

In recognition of his efforts, Guelph Arts Council nominated Frank for Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation Volunteer Service Awards on several occasions. Following his receipt of a 15-year award, he modestly remarked in a
letter to then President Ann Middleton that he appreciated “having been able to contribute a little of his time and energy towards the work of the Guelph Arts Council. This along with other involvements … makes life still worth living in a crazy world.”

Guelph Arts Council was only one of Frank’s community arts involvements. Since arriving in Guelph from his native England in the 1950s, he has had a continuing role in Guelph Creative Arts Association, and he served on the Boards of both the Central Ontario Art Association and Ontario Crafts Council. He worked first-hand in several different visual arts media, with a special interest in sculpture, printmaking and photography. At various times, he was also active in the Guelph Little Theatre and the Guelph Light Opera Company. He helped establish the Scottish Country Dance group in Guelph, and he worked on a Summer Museum project which eventually evolved into the present Guelph Civic Museum.

In more recent years, especially following his retirement from the City’s Recreation and Parks Department early in 1987, Frank was very active in the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, and in many of the programs offered at the Evergreen Seniors Centre. He took up Tai-Chi; and he loved travelling. He also became hooked on genealogy, pursuing his family’s roots in England back at least until the 12th century, and involving himself in the Waterloo-Wellington Genealogy Society.
Above all, Frank was committed to the arts. For more than forty years, he worked tirelessly to enhance all aspects of arts and culture in this community. And he did make a difference. We’ll miss him.

– SW